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22 JULY 2015

Pinscreen animation Mindscape by Jacques Drouin

"A particularly creative example of the pinscreen animation technique, this film is about an artist who steps inside his painting and wanders about in a landscape peopled with symbols that trigger unexpected associations. Film without words."

"Mindscape" by Jacques Drouin, 1976, 7mins 31s.

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1976animated short filmanimation techniqueblack and whiteboundary-crossing • crossing over • dreamlike storytelling • grey • in the mind • Jacques Drouin • landscape painting • Le paysagiste (1976) • meta-painting • Mindscape (1976) • movable pins • National Film Board of Canadapaint our own surroundingspainted world • picture within a picture • pinscreen animation technique • reality and illusion • shades of grey • stepping out of the framesurrealistic • surrealistic imagery • symbolic meaning • textural effects • without dialogue • wordless

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
30 SEPTEMBER 2014

Christian Leborg: Visual Grammar

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abstract conceptsabstract objectsabstractionChristian Leborg • communicate visually • communication design systemscommunication design theory • complexity of dimensions • coordinate systemdesign formalism • design fundamentals • design principles • empty space • formatgeometric primitivegraphic design • ideal shape • language of design • lineline in spacelinesmodernist design principlespictorial systemsplanepoint • simple planes • surfacethree dimensional objects • transcendent line • typographyvisual design • visual design primer • visual fundamentals • visual grammar • volume • volumeswordless

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
09 JANUARY 2013

Samsara: a visual meditation on modern living

"Expanding on the themes they developed in BARAKA (1992) and CHRONOS (1985), SAMSARA explores the wonders of our world from the mundane to the miraculous, looking into the unfathomable reaches of man's spirituality and the human experience. Neither a traditional documentary nor a travelogue, SAMSARA takes the form of a nonverbal, guided meditation. Through powerful images, the film illuminates the links between humanity and the rest of nature, showing how our life cycle mirrors the rhythm of the planet.

The filmmakers approach non verbal filmmaking with an understanding that it must live up to the standard of great still photography, revealing the essence of a subject, not just its physical presence. SAMSARA was photographed entirely in 70mm film utilizing both standard frame rates and with a motion control time–lapse camera designed specifically for this project. This camera system allows perspective shifts to reveal extraordinary views of ordinary scenes. The images were then transferred through the highest resolution scanning process available to the new 4K digital projection format that allows for mesmerizing images of unprecedented clarity. SAMSARA will be a showpiece for the new, high–resolution 4K digital projection, the HD format, as well as standard digital and film projection."

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2011 • 4K digital projection • 70mm film • assembly line • Baraka (1992) • cabinet of curiosities • Chronos (1985) • desertdocumentary filmethnographic film • ever turning wheel of life • factoryfactory workerfood productiongrotesquely beautiful imagery • guided meditation • human experience • human robotics • humanityindustrial ageindustrialisationintensive agricultureintensive farminginterconnectedness • life-cycle • Lisa Gerrard • manufactoriesmanufacturing processes • Marcello De Francisci • Mark Magidson • mesmerising images • Michael Stearns • modern centres • modern living • modern technology • motion control time-lapse • natural world • non verbal filmmaking • production linerhythm of the planet • Ron Fricke • rubbish • Samsara (2011) • spirituality • Super Panavision 70 • sweeping landscapes • tableau vivanttimelapse • timelapse photography • traffic congestiontravelogue • visual meditation • visual patternwordless

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
28 DECEMBER 2012

Influential American experimental cinema: Meshes of the Afternoon

"Meshes of the Afternoon is one of the most influential works in American experimental cinema. A non–narrative work, it has been identified as a key example of the 'trance film,' in which a protagonist appears in a dreamlike state, and where the camera conveys his or her subjective focus. The central figure in Meshes of the Afternoon, played by Deren, is attuned to her unconscious mind and caught in a web of dream events that spill over into reality. Symbolic objects, such as a key and a knife, recur throughout the film; events are open–ended and interrupted. Deren explained that she wanted 'to put on film the feeling which a human being experiences about an incident, rather than to record the incident accurately.'

Made by Deren with her husband, cinematographer Alexander Hammid, Meshes of the Afternoon established the independent avant–garde movement in film in the United States, which is known as the New American Cinema. It directly inspired early works by Kenneth Anger, Stan Brakhage, and other major experimental filmmakers. Beautifully shot by Hammid, a leading documentary filmmaker and cameraman in Europe (where he used the surname Hackenschmied) before he moved to New York, the film makes new and startling use of such standard cinematic devices as montage editing and matte shots. Through her extensive writings, lectures, and films, Deren became the preeminent voice of avant–garde cinema in the 1940s and the early 1950s."

(MoMA, 2004)

The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, revised 2004, originally published 1999.

Maya Deren (1943). "Meshes of the Afternoon", 16mm film, black and white, silent, 14 min. Acquired from the Artist.

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16mm1943 • Alexander Hackenschmied • Alexander Hammid • American cinemaavant-garde cinemablack and whiteBolexcinemacinematic devicescloakdeathdream • dream world • dreamlike qualityeditingexperimental cinemaexperimental film • experimental filmmaker • filmfilm pioneerfilmmakerflowerFreudianindependent cinemainfluential directorinfluential worksKenneth Angerkeyknife • matte • Maya Deren • Meshes of the Afternoon • mirrorMoMA • New American Cinema • non-narrativeopen-endedpersonal filmrecurring ideasrepetitionrhythmscreen-mediated virtual spaceseminalsilent filmstaircaseStan Brakhagesurrealist cinemasymbolic meaningsymbolism • Teiji Ito • tranceunconscious desires • unconscious meaning • women in filmwomen in historywordless

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
13 DECEMBER 2012

Journey (Video Game)

"The studio describes it as an interactive parable, the story of a lone traveller and their path through life told in the form of a voyage that starts in the vast expanses of a desert and ends ... well, to tell you how it ends would spoil it. You think you know what Journey is going to be about after the first five minutes, but you don't. I came to it expecting something charming, visually stunning and perhaps even mildly edifying. I left thinking that it may well be, in many ways, the best video game I have ever played.

You play a traveller swaddled in red robes, beginning atop a desert sand dune with a view of a shining mountain on the horizon. You're given no direction; instead you're guided by the natural impulse to move towards that looming, distant beacon. Control is intentionally simple and unobtrusive; you can only walk, jump and sing, but Journey still crafts some astounding scenarios from those bare gameplay ingredients. It has you surfing down sand dunes in the fading light, scaling towers, flying on the wind and cowering in underground ruins as you slowly uncover what could have happened to the civilisation that must have once lived there."

(Keza MacDonald, 13 March 2012, The Guardian)

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2012abandoned ruinsancient cityatmospheric presence • Austin Wintory • barren land • beacon • clothcontinuous • crevice • cutscene • desertdesolate space • endless desert • environment as antagonist • float through the air • floating in spaceflyinggame worldheros journeyhorizonindie game • interactive parable • Journey (2012) • lone traveller • mountain • musical chime • natural impulse • open worldPlaystation 3quest • reach the summit • redrobe • robed figure • ruins • sand dune • scarf • smooth spacesnowSony Computer Entertainmentstone • Thatgamecompany • timelessnesstower • underground ruins • video gamevoyagewindwordless

CONTRIBUTOR

Guannan (cassie) Du
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